Storms and floods in Preah Sihanouk province caused delays at Sihanoukville International Airport on Friday.
State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) spokesman Sin Chanserey Vutha said: “Planes were unable to land because the pilots could not see the landing strip, the sky was dark.
“The problem isn’t that the airport is flooded. There was just heavy rainfall for just one moment and then it gradually receded. The rains didn’t affect the flights,” he said, adding that flight traffic had reverted to normal.
Preah Sihanouk provincial Department of Tourism director Taing Sochet Kresna said continued rainstorms could hurt provincial tourism.
“Visitors are coming as usual, and nothing has changed. However, if rains continue for long, it could be detrimental – more flights may be delayed and people will be unable to travel on the roads [leading to the airport],” he said.
Sochet Kresna said foreign tourist arrivals to the province by air have averaged 6,500 visitors per day since the beginning of this year, mostly Chinese and Malaysian nationals.
Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak said floods in parts of the province may slightly decrease the number of arrivals.
“Heavy rainfalls are a natural hazard. Tourists can be hesitant [to come] due to the floods. However, authorities are trying to release the water. When the water recedes, tourists once again visit,” he said.
An SSCA report said the total number of inbound and outbound flights in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville international airports was 29,705 flights in the first half of this year, of which 4,151 were to Sihanoukville.